Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Alexander J. Harper

This biography is taken from Biographical History of Northeastern Ohio, Embracing the counties of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake; Lewis Publishing Company, 1893.

Transcribed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Alexander J. Harper, who has for many years been prominently identified with the interests of Harpersfield township, is a native of Perry township, Lake county, Ohio, born September 28, 1829. His parents were John A. and Cynthia (Harmon) Harper; the father was born March 30, 1774, at Harpersfield, New York, a son of Alexander Harper, who was born in Middleton, Connecticut, in 1744; the latter served as a Colonel in the war of the Revolution. He was united in marriage January 30, 1771, to Elizabeth Bartholomew, who was born February 13, 1749, at Bethlehem, Huntington county, New Jersey. John A. Harper was the eldest son of a family of eight children; he came with his parents to Ohio in 1798, making the journey from Buffalo to Madison township in a sail boat; they settled on a section of land ceded Mr. Harper by the Government for losses sustained by him during the Revolutionary war. He chose the extreme northwest section of the township of Harpersfield. John A. was given as his portion what is now known as the Stephen Warner farm. He was first married to Miss Minor, and they reared a family of nine children, named as follows: Rice, Juliann, Aaron, Lucia, Orrin, Adeline, Caroline, Alexander and Lorain. His second marriage was to Cynthia Harmon, April 5, 1824, and they had one child, Alexander J. John A. Harper was one of the builders of the Madison dock on Lake Erie and was a heavy loser by the contract. He died when Alexander J. was a lad of eleven years; the youth and his mother went, after this sad event, to Rochester, New York, where they resided for five years. Thence they went to Sandusky, Ohio, where he was in school for a period of two years.

His first business venture was in the grocery trade just before the cholera scourge which swept the country. He was afterward in the County Clerk's office for a term of six years; then he was employed as a clerk in the Recorder's office. At the death of this official, about one year after entering the office, he was appointed to serve the unexpired term. In 1857 he came to Harpersfield and took up agricultural pursuits; he settled on the farm of Colonel Robert Harper, which is now his home.

Mr. Harper was married April 6, 1853, to Miss Jane Harper, a daughter of Colonel Robert and Polly (Hendry) Harper. Colonel Harper was for several years a member of the State Legislature from Ashtabula county, making the journey to Columbus on horseback. He was one of the first lawyers in this part of the State, and was a man of good ability and a soldier in the war of 1812. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander J. Harper are the parents of four children: Robert John was born April 15, 1854, and married Miss Augusta Girard, January 1, 1877; they have five children: Willie, born March 15, 1878, died in infancy; Henry Alexander was born March 12, 1879; Mary Adda, January 7, 1882; Julia Ann, July 30, 1884, and Susannah, February 3, 1886; the second chid of our subject, Stella Cynthia was born August 5, 1856; Rice was born May 12, 1860; he married Theresa Mary Fredericks, of Duluth, Minnesota, August 19, 1890, and has one child, William A., born October 21, 1891; Anna Harper, the youngest child, was born September 12, 1863. Mr. Harper has carried on farming with great energy and has been a liberal supporter of those movements tending to advance the interests of the general public. A man of integrity and honor, he has the confidence and respect of the community.

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